Who Is Chiara de Blasio? Bill de Blasio’s Daughter Was Arrested While Protesting

June 01, 2020 at 04:14PM

She is the daughter of Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s First Lady Chirlane McCray. 

Chiara grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where the de Blasio family lived until taking up residence at Gracie Mansion. She has one younger brother, Dante, who published an op-ed last year about interacting with NYPD as a young black man. 

She attended the Beacon School (one of New York City’s most elite high schools) in Hell’s Kitchen, and studied Criminal Justice and Women’s and Gender Studies at Santa Clara University in California, according to her LinkedIn. Chiara now works as a program coordinator for a feminist group at Santa Clara’s Community Action Program, a “community-based, service organization dedicated to applying activism and justice to address social issues in and around the campus community,” as described on its website.

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She’s open about her struggles with depression and drug and alcohol abuse.

Chiara said she sought treatment for substance abuse in a candid YouTube video from 2013. She told Teen Vogue about coming forward: “It’s part of my temperament to be very straightforward, very blunt, very honest. My parents always stressed communication as a really important part of any relationship. When I was younger, I didn’t want to tell them everything—I have my teenage secrets—but they taught me that honesty is the best policy in any situation.”

In 2014, her online essay on the now-defunct website xoJane about depression and addiction was recognized by the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for “serving as an example of hope for other young adults,” according to The New York Times. 

“I had an amazing, unconditionally loving, and unbroken family,” she wrote in the piece. “I went to good schools. I lived in a beautiful neighborhood. So why, then, did I always feel empty? I was surrounded by love, but I always felt less-than, out-of-place, restless, irritable, and discontent. Perhaps you’re reading this and thinking that I was simply ungrateful. Yes, I was. But a lack of gratitude wasn’t my only problem. I was the problem. I was not born a happy person.”

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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chirlane McCray, Dante de Blasio and Chiara de Blasio at the 2015 Pride Parade.
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Chiara is a women’s rights activist and has worked on domestic violence prevention.

In 2009, she volunteered for Planned Parenthood. She also held an internship with the mayor’s office to combat domestic violence, which helped “shape her life’s work,” according to her mother. 

“Chiara spent a lot of time working on her team—working with her team—pounding the pavement, and providing her fellow New Yorkers with information that could potentially save their lives. And that’s what she came home and said every night—it’s like, I think I saved a life,” First Lady Chirlane McCray said in 2014. “Because every time she handed a flyer to someone, or had a few words with somebody, who was, you know, suffering in some way, she could tell that she was helping them move forward and really, almost save their life. So, it was a powerful experience. And, I know that it’s helping her shape her life’s work. She recently decided to change her major to Women and Gender Studies and I know that this summer played a big role in that decision.” 

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Chiara has defended her dad, calling him not just “some boring white guy.” 

Chiara figured prominently in political ads during her father’s mayoral campaign. At an event for Young Progressives for De Blasio in August 2013, she described him as not just “some boring white” guy. “It’d be one thing if I just thought he was just like some boring white guy who didn’t know what he was talking about,” she said, “but you know, he truly, he cares about everybody in this city, every different type of person. You know, rich poor, black white, blue, whatever.”

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She also told The Cut that her dad “has visited multiple countries in Africa. He’s a very worldly person, and I think that a lot of people could look at him and just see the color of his skin, but it’s so much deeper than that.” 

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Chiara took on the role of family “fashion coordinator” in 2014. 

“I mean, I am the fashion coordinator for my family,” she told AM New York Metro. “I tried to take an initiative to get some color synchronicity going on.” 

She described her mother as “stylish,” but her father and younger brother as “not so much, but they still look great.”

“I try to advise my dad on what ties to wear,” she told the daily newspaper. 

Why was she arrested? 

According to an arrest report obtained by The New York Post, Chiara refused to leave a street that was ordered to be cleared by officers after people started throwing items. She was one of 345 protestors to be arrested by NYPD on Saturday, according to NBC New York.

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Her arrest came just one hour before the mayor told protesters in a late night news conference that it was “time to go home.” He didn’t mention his daughter at a press briefingthe next day.

STAFF WRITERRose is a Staff Writer at ELLE.com covering culture, news, and women’s issues.
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